Tuesday, August 26, 2008


As long as John and I have lived in the Pasadena area we've been aware of the huge house on North Lake Avenue. We used to drive by it every day when we lived in Altadena. We couldn't guess much from the street; the house was behind a brick fence and mostly what we could see was the high peak of the roof. The lot was huge and the house sprawled over much of it, and even though at that time the house was an unattractive pink, we coveted it.

Now the "gracious English estate" is painted white, looking more distinguished and on the market for just under two million dollars. We went to the open house last Sunday. Gracious it is, an aging beauty with good bones. The 9-bedroom house was built in the 1920s by architect Kenneth Gordon, who built other distinguished properties in this area.

Above is a rear view of the house. I decided to use it because many locals know the front view but we never get to see the house from behind. Yesterday's "secret window" photo was taken in a room we discovered by opening a door we found inside a closet, that led into a room beyond the closet. It could be a secret hiding place, known only to the house's owner. On the floor plan it's called "storage."

For a little extra fun, below are the patio and a view of the pool from an upstairs room. (Click to enlarge the photos.)

We wandered. The house is almost 4500 square feet. There's a pool house, guest house, an old-fashioned tennis court and a converted garage. The traces of the times still show in places: the tennis court has changed very little since the 1920s, for example. A peace sign is painted on the inner wall of a shed.

I won't lie. The house needs some cosmetic work. But I still covet it.


to buy penny stocks said...
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Thursday Girl/Hollis the Cat said...

Absolutely wonderful! I would love to explore that house--secret room! Yea!

Laurie said...

I ALWAYS wanted a home with a secret room behind a bookcase or a closet!

It's a real beauty, Petrea.

life observer said...

Sounds like you're gonna be moving back to Altadena again.

R/E prices need to fall still more for it to be in my range! Besides, Lake is too busy a street.

Eki Akhwan said...

I like the word you invented, Petrea. Sounds cute and appropriate for this post. ;)

Love the black and white shot you posted yesterday.

Susan C said...

I noticed the open-in French windows and coved, high-pitched ceilings in yesterday's photo and wondered if it was an English Tudor.

We have the mini version of this house in Altadena.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Beautiful home! I can see the inspiration! And have to say, Zen Monday is such a wonderful idea,

altadenahiker said...

Oh, thanks for these shots. I live just a couple of blocks north of here, but never saw the inside. Poor house looked so ashamed when it was painted in pepto-bismol.

USelaine said...

Buy it Petrea! Then I can come live with you! It'll be great!

elizabeth said...

uselaine: I call dibs on the apartment over the garage! :-)

Katie said...

Oooh, what fun to see this grand house! Cool that it's for sale so you could take a tour and share photos with us. And how fabulous that the photo from yesterday was a secret room here! I definitely would buy this one over the Frank Lloyd Wright house; especially because it has a nice pool.

Christie said...

Oh, so beautiful!! My hubby so much wants to have a house with a secret room. We even made plans for a house with a room behind a bookcase. *sigh* Maybe if someone leaves us a boatload of money. But if he can't have a secret room, he wants a moat. Seriously. We're still working on the logistics of that, but it is in the future, I think. :)

Ms M said...

Great place! I can see why you covet it. The patio looks like a sublime place to be during summer mornings or evenings.

And a secret room is s real bonus! I love old houses with stuff like that.

Virginia said...

Fine old homes are so much fun to wish for. I do that a lot here. You did just write them a check , right???

Dina said...

Cool! Like going through the wardrobe into Narnia?
Your profile new--a whole new perspective on you!

lyliane said...

Superbe maison! elle me fait rêver la mienne est vraiment plus petite.Votre français est excellent, je ne peux pas en dire autant de mon Anglais!

Therese said...

I have seen Pasadena but never under these angles...

Petrea said...

Watch for it, TG/HtC. There could be another open house!

Laurie, when I was a kid there was a house across the street--the girls there were bullies and they told me one closet was bottomless. Scared me to death.

Right, L.O. I got me extra millions lying around.

Thank you, Eki, but I must credit my husband John with coining "housenography."

Susan C, the mini version must be sweet. You know this big one, too, I'm sure.

Glad you like Zen Monday, Petra. I like it too.

Altadenahiker: Yes! It's a prouder, prettier house now. Go see it if you can, it's got a certain je ne sais quoi.

If I bought that house, USElaine and Elizabeth and all of you could come live with me. There's room for everyone. It would be blogger heaven.

Katie, I'd buy it over the Wright house because it's huge. I like huge. (It also costs a lot less!)

Christie, I remember you telling us about the moat and I hope he gets it. What do you get?

Ms. M., that secret room triggered the child in me--the one that goes very far back, with the mystical mind. Remember that one?

I wrote the check, Virginia. It got a laugh.

Dina, it must have been a secret room like that one that inspired Lewis.

Bienvenue, Lilyane! Venez ici et parlez français si vous voulez. J'ai une dictionnaire et je veus apprendre! Ou parlez Anglais et j'enseignerai.

Thank you, Therese, that is my goal. Welcome!

USelaine said...

If I bought that house, USElaine and Elizabeth and all of you could come live with me. There's room for everyone. It would be blogger heaven.

I got it: "Blogimal House"